Sunday, August 30, 2009

Illuminated Manuscripts & History of Publishing.

Hi Peers: Here Comes The History of Publishing!

On 8/2/09, Program Director Arnie Grossblatt, Ph.D., prompted me and others to visit the National Gallery of Art for a close-up look at the history of publishing prior to the invention of printing and dated 12th-16th century France, Germany, Australia, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. It was titled: "Heavens on Earth: Illuminations from the National Gallery of Art" It ended on that day unfortunately but, for more information, visit

Majority of the samples depict sacred because the books most commonly valued and illuminated at that time were the bibles and lithurgical texts, and used in church services and in daily cycle of prayers offered by communities of monks and nuns. The exhibits featured sacred titles such as: "Adoration of the Magi; The Cruxificion; The Nativity; Madonna & Child; The Annunciation; Christ in Majesty With 12 Apostles; Christ & The Virgin Enthroned; Receiving The Stigmata; Coronation of The Virgin; The Flagellation; The Resurrection", etc. In all, there were probably about 30 pieces although I forgot to count the exact number.

All 51 miniatures and four other volumes on display are from the NGA collection, given by a Lessing J. Rosenwald, between 1946 and 1964, with new and current donors, of course. The pieces are artistically rendered on gold-paper, tempera/egg-yolk-based colors, and combined with text, mostly on single page each and some on two pages, displayed side-by-side.

The exhibits informed us that, in the Middle Ages, many of the largest choir books were meant to be legible (sic) by all members of the choir, and that the most popular illuminated books were private devotional texts called "books of hours", prepared for well-to-do patrons. Secular texts were also illustrated and represented by manuscripts treating Canon-Law, Ancient History, and Civic Statutes.

Attendees such as I gathered that most single-page pieces were cut-out portions of 19th Century private book collections and were later framed as independent works of art, after editing out the initials of the original painter/producer. Accordingly, this practice is now condemned but to date, makes tracing the original context of some of the pieces difficult. It was a notable exhibition in that it indeed provide me with a closer look at the history of publishing.

By: Isiaka Almaroof, LGSW.
Cohort 5.

Hello from Isiaka Almaroof

Hi everyone.

I am Isiaka (easyaka) Almaroof. My education and work experiences are in graphic arts and social work. I've lived in DC for about 20 years and did not end my search for a profession which can assist me in marrying graphic arts to social work, for a start. I found that opportunity in GW's Publishing Program recently.

I am glad to be here because I love the printed word and love translating printed words into visual images. I have some experience in traditional printing as well. Above all, I love writing the most. So, I thought: if I could combine all these, I will feel a lot more wholesome in my search for personal fulfilment.

I look forward to meeting everyone in class and beyond.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Night Out

For anyone not on facebook or currently ignoring facebook (I know, sometimes you just have to take a break), just want to give you the info on our get-together before classes.

When: Friday, Aug 28th @ 6:00 p.m.
Where: The Big Hunt, Dupont
What: Happy hour

Any questions? Contact me at

Hope to see you all there!

- Lindsey

Monday, August 24, 2009

Local publishing jobs

While I was looking around the National Geographic website on a work-related issue, I noticed they had quite a few job postings for both full-time and intership positions.

Hello from Randy

Hi everybody,

This is Randy and I'm excited to be a part of Cohort 5. I have a degree in Journalism from Rider University in New Jersey, not too far from the Pine Barrens I grew up in. I've been in the DC area for nearly 4 years where I have worked in the Journals department for AGU. For the past year or so, I've been researching graduate programs, looking for something that would grab my attention. This program was the only one that seemed to speak to me, so I wasted no time getting the paperwork together (hopefully everything is in!).

My interests are diverse and I seem to know a little bit about a lot of things. I've been everything from a door-to-door salesman to a motivational speaker. I love learning and experiencing new things, so I'm sure the perpetually evolving world of publishing will keep me on my toes. I look forward to meeting all of you and can't wait to begin this new chapter!

I am Gray Turner

Hi everyone. My name is Gray Turner (though I wholly expect to be called Greg or Gary by most of you at some point). I am a 2008 graduate from the University of Richmond where I majored in English and minored in Classical Civilizations. I have been in DC for a little over a year working for GW's Divison of Development & Alumni Relations (Communications), and I am looking forward to moving soon from Crystal City to Ballston.

I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in a kind of rural area and miss having a yard, woods to hike around, and being so close to the water. Last year I co-coached a Boys U-11 soccer team in Arlington, but I have to give it up this year for our class schedule.

Publishing was never really a career choice that I considered, but sometimes things just fall the right way for you, even if they're not what you're expecting. I have to admit that I'm pretty pumped about getting back into school environment, especially after looking through the B&JP syllabus. I'm also relieved to see that I'm not the only one in the program with no past publishing experience

I guess more to follow later? Looking forward to meeting everyone.

What I'm reading: Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
What I'm listening to: Kings of Leon

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prateeksha says hello

Hello all! I'm Prateeksha (pra-teek-sha) from San Diego, CA.

I'm less than three weeks old in the DC area (and still trying to figure out where everything is, which reminds me, I should get a GPS navigation system and fast!) but I'm excited to be here. I'm getting to know the city a little bit at a time every day and I'm so charmed by what I see and the people that I have met so far.

Although I’m still in the process of settling in and adjusting to the fact that La Jolla cove is not ten minutes away from home anymore, I can't wait to begin the program, get to know all my classmates and faculty, make new friends, and quite literally, begin a new chapter in beautiful DC.

I'm a worshipper of the written word. My publishing interests lie in the art, editorial, and design side of book/e-book production. I worked in the production/editorial group of an educational publishing company back in CA but now I'm looking for a publishing-related job/internship here in the DC area. I'm trying hard to find something and hope I find it soon!

I feel fortunate to be part of GWU's Publishing program. I had been looking for a publishing program exactly such as this one for a rather long period of time now and never really came across anything that convinced me like it should. Then of course, I came across GWU's Program and I knew… :-)

See you all in class soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hi there

Hi! I'm Ryan Holman (one of the 2% of people named Ryan out there that are female).

I'm coming to this program by way of a childhood spent in this area, a detour through Oberlin, Ohio, a stint as an intern at the Kennedy Center, and an ongoing current gig at a directory publisher. Through all of it I've had the constant companionship of my love affair with the written word. (At one point I wanted to devote myself exclusively to writing. Then I figured out that things like food and shelter are not free and that I am rather attached to having both on a regular basis; thus I decided that perhaps a more practical approach might be necessary. Of course, this was right before the print publishing industry started stumbling and scrambled to make the jump online and reduced their staffs significantly. In the meantime, I have fed the writing bug through poetry readings in Takoma Park and at Artomatic earlier this year.)

As mentioned, I currently work in the content department at a directory publisher that is in the midst of trying to move our subscribers to online products that we're developing. In particular, because my team specifically works with our Congressional member and staff directory, this tends to involve figuring out what information our subscribers demand and how to best acquire and present that information. In particular, we have recently begun offering lots of online-only content (e.g., the 2010 election cycle campaigns that have already declared their candidacies) in hopes that our printed-book subscribers will find space in their budgets to move to our e-products.

Balancing school and work is going to be a challenge, I think, but one I am certainly willing to face head-on; meanwhile, I'm running around and trying to get as many cheap theater tickets as I can (went to go see King Lear the other weekend featuring Stacy Keach at the Shakespeare Theatre) and spend my weekends in various spots up and down the region trying to wring the last out of summer before I buckle down and focus on the fall print schedule at work coming to a head at the start of September and classes starting in 18 days. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Hello from Amy

Design. Print. Publish.
Seeks to advance her career.
It is Amy Spears.

Sometimes I like to pull my thoughts together in haiku form. [see above] Given the daunting task of composing a personal introduction to a bunch of soon-to-be-classmates, thoughts were popping through my mind as fast as M.C. Hammer's tweets on Twitter. So to keep your brain from being bogged down by a rambling intro, there are the basics in 17 syllables. If you'd like an entree portion instead of just an appetizer, read on.

Hi there, cohort. I am Amy Spears and will be joining you later this month to embark on this educational journey to the world of publishing. My background is mostly in printing and graphic design, and it is through my current position that I have gotten a peek into the publishing industry. In 2007 I graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Graphic Communications. Since then, I have been working in sales for a commercial printing/graphic design company. I work with non-profits, associations, and corporations to consult them on their printing ventures and ultimately, ahem, make a sale. As so many of my clients have followed the movement to disseminate information on the WWW instead of using ink on paper, it has prompted me to rethink my investment in printing and partner this with more knowledge of the evolving publishing industry. Hello, GWU Publishing! I'm very excited to be here.

And me personally... I grew up in South Carolina, and have lived in DC for the last year and a half. My hobbies are diverse and aplenty and include art, music, reading, and developing a green(ish) thumb.

See you soon!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Big Brother... or Just the Time's They Are A'changin'?

Google Deal With Publishers Raises Privacy Concerns

This NPR newsfeed begs the question about digital publishing that seems has been on everyone's mind. How handy will it be to have our favorite books available online? And at what price to not the writers, but the readers...

Facebook Group

Hey everyone. I just wanted to let you know that I just created a facebook group for our cohort. I figured this would be a good way to get in touch with one another. It was also a good way for me to procrastinate this morning.

The group is creatively called "GWU Publishing - Cohort 5."

So feel free to request to join or friend me.

- Lindsey Schauer

Good Resource

If you're interested in networking or publishing conferences/training, the Association of American Publishers is a nice resource. Their annual conference will be held here in DC in February.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Catherine Abbott

Hello DC! My name is Catherine Abbott, and I am from Knoxville, Tennessee. I love it there (Im still here!), but I am ready for a change. I received my BA from the University of Tennessee in English: Rhetoric and Writing in 2007, although I had quite a trip through the university before landing on that degree. I began my college tenure in Architecture and never fully left that niche. I worked with the College of Architecture + Design for a few years doing graphic editing and website management, and I do not doubt that I will somehow find an outlet to express my interest in architecture through publishing.

Part of me is excited about starting back to school, but part of me is definitely nervous. Nevertheless, I am excited about starting a new chapter of my life in DC. Other than my love for writing and architecture, I spend my time with my books (finishing up the writings of Barbara Kingsolver right now-- anyone read The Poisonwood Bible? I definitely recommend it), any music (I experienced Bonnaroo for the first time this summer-- ever heard of it!?), playing on my computer (teaching myself graphic design and web design), watching bad TV (Lifetime and Bravo... don't judge), experimenting with and enjoying art (all mediums), and playing with my dog, Mims (a Bichon Frise named after Sir Nicolas de Mimsy Porpington from Harry Potter), among many other pastimes.

I will be in DC soon and look forward to meeting all of my fellow classmates! Cheers!

P.S. My profile picture is from my first crawfish boil a few weeks ago. Yay for the South!

Monday, August 10, 2009

REVIEW: Grown Up Digital

If you have a passion for generational exploration/definitions, this book is for you. Despite some data-heavy sections, the author has managed to keep this text light and entertaining with a nice balance of anecdotes and personal experiences. Tapscott presents some interesting points about the Net Generation (NG) and how they will impact our personal and professional lives. The world has become fairly transparent for the NG, who come to the table with a different set of values and awareness of the world and their place in it. The NG sees personal space as a public venue (twitter, myspace, and facebook)...all for the sake of socialization. The NG demand personalization in everything they do and have moved from mere content consumers to content creators, forcing a shift from authoritarianism to individualization. Tapscott questions, however, whether the NG's depth of technological smarts equals intelligence. In spite of the authors concentration on hard data and anecdotal evidence, it would have been interesting to see a bit more focus on the impact the NG will have on both past and future generations beyond the simple findings presented (i.e., education, personal identity and privacy, cultural values, business/industry, government, etc.)

I do have a couple chapters to finish, so maybe those issues will be addressed in the conclusionary sections.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Angela Anderson

Just back from vacation...32 hours in the car with 2 kids under the age of 10...and hoping the 400 emails waiting in my inbox will provide some stress relief ;} My family and I are still very new to this area after moving here from Texas. After the culture shock wore off, we realized this is really where we need to be (even though the cost of real estate and day care still give us heartburn).

I completed my undergraduate work in graphic design at the University of Texas and worked in the university press system for almost 4 years before moving to marketing at Texas A&M Department of Rec Sports. In addition to my marketing work, I began working for an independent publisher out of NY in 2007. We focus most of our efforts on e-books--Kindle and the Sony ereader. That same year, we moved to DC for my job with the gov. If I had to define myself, I'd say I am a graphic designer who also edits. But, the entire publishing process is amazing and I'm looking forward to learning more.

See you all soon.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Allison Begezda- Introduction

Hi Everyone!

My name is Allison Begezda (pronounced Beg-S-duh) and I'm from Poland, OH (near Youngstown). I graduated from Miami University of Ohio in May with a B.A. in English. I also took several science courses throughout undergrad because I'm interested in scientific/academic publishing. Last summer I had an internship at the Journal of the American Dental Association in Chicago which encouraged me to pursue a career in publishing.

I'm excited to begin the program and excited/nervous about my move to D.C. I've only been to the area twice; once for a school trip in 8th grade and once this summer to see GW. I'm hoping to find a publishing related job so I can get some more experience in the field while I'm completing graduate school.

About Me:
I love traveling! I spent a summer studying in Florence, Italy and traveled on the weekends to several various countries. It was the best time of my life! I also enjoy reading, shopping, and photography. I look forward to meeting everyone and feel free to "friend" me on facebook!

Here is an interesting article about Google's movement to put out-of-print books on the Internet.

Meet and Greet

My name is Shelby Thompson and I am a writer. Well, I consider myself to be, among other things. I like the sound of it. Though not in a purely superficial sense, but because of the way it makes me feel to know that I can associate myself with it.

Somewhere in the midst of my Freshman year at UNC Asheville (nearly a decade ago now!), I abandoned all previous notions of what I imagined my future held (carefully crafted no doubt by those older and wiser) and decided to base it on what I was really interested in, and planted my feet firmly into the Literature/Creative Writing Department. I had no definite aspirations associated with this choice of major at the time, I just knew I liked to write, and I seemed to be pretty good at it. So there that was, the rest would come to me later. At the time, I thought what I wrote was very creative, honest, passionate, maybe even poetic.

Now, when I sometimes look back on what I produced in those early, unscripted days, I'm not sure it was work itself that made me feel so impassioned. It's more than just about why I write, but why anyone does. It makes me wonder, what does one do with all of that? That passion, that creativity, that honesty? It's very vulnerable. Anyone can have ideas that they put to a page, but how are your ideas heard? How do you leave an imprint on the world of language and literature? Especially one that is becoming all together new and uncharted.

I didn't come to this program looking for an obvious answer to these questions, some of them just don't have them, nor should they. I came because I think being surrounded by individuals who are seeking similar opportunities to explore the possibility of coming closer to one makes me feel like I'm looking in the right place.


OK. Just a quick introduction. My name is Lindsey Schauer (pronounced "Shower"). I'm originially from southwest Michigan. I moved to Florida for a year after getting my undergrad where I worked as a proofreader. Following that, I moved to Prague (the Czech Republic) to teach English. It was really fantastic, and Prague is still my favorite city. But I realized that teaching wasn't for me and decided to look at getting my master's in publishing back stateside.

So here I am. Now I'm back in Michigan leeching off my parents. I haven't been to D.C. since I was maybe 10 years old, but everyone tells me it's an amazing city. I'm thinking of doing the e-publishing track, even though I'm fairly resistant to e-publishing. It's time to bite the bullet.

I'm somewhere around 60% excited and 40% nervous about starting school again and moving at the moment. Since I know almost no one in D.C., I'm really looking forward to the program and to meeting people in it. See you all in a couple weeks!

Here's an article discussing whether or not Kindle is going to revolutionize publishing or be it's demise.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Publishing Machine for the Masses

Gutenberg, step aside. The new tech-savy alternative has come for those of us who have no interest in reading a book on a screen:

It's called Espresso, weighs 800 pounds, and can print a paperback book in the time it takes to drink a cup of it's namesake. They cost $75,000 though, so I guess we just have to wait until the local Barnes and Noble gets one. Unless we start our own "Print your book" store first....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NPR says Publish This

NPR's All Things Considered takes a stab at another side of a writer's world. I thought this was interesting considering how everything in publishing is changing, even what it means just to call yourself a writer.

"For Authors, Ghostwriting Offers Solvency, Stability" by Lynn Neary

Monday, August 3, 2009

Introducing Ryan Reeh

Hey everyone! My name is Ryan Reeh (pronounced "Ray") and come from a lot of different places, which is kind of an unusual response when people ask me where I'm from. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, growing up in Florida, and spending the last few years in Chicago has been a terrific journey. Looking forward to being near Washington D.C. - the place has a great atmosphere for people just starting their careers. Also, I'm convinced that one can't live without Five Guys burgers....delicious!

I'm excited to be a part of the Publishing program, especially since it will give me a chance to see things from this perspective. I've always been a writer and have edited a few times, but I would like to get to know the opposite side of printing media. If I'm going to be a novelist someday, it would be better to get to know the full equation to be the best I can be.

Hope to meet you all soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jennifer Kuhn Introduces Herself

Hi guys! So I guess we should introduce ourselves here? Okay. So I'm Jennifer Kuhn (rhymes with moon, spoon, goon, &c.). I hail from Connecticut, but I currently reside in Germantown MD, which will be one stinker of a commute to Alexandria. Some say Germantown is just one overgrown shopping center, but I love it here. Kidding! I don't! Fact: I spend a lot of time at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, gazing at those famed ruby slippers, wishing I had a pair to click together while chanting "there's no place like home, there's no place like home" just like Dorothy, then BAM, I'd be back where the trees are beautiful during the autumn, where my family and friends are, where we say 'grinder' when we mean a sort of sandwich that other people call 'subs' or (gag) 'hoagies', where a 'packie' is a store in which spirits can be purchased, where I can drive around without the artificial confidence of Mr. TomTom. Ah, sweet Connecticut. In fact, the only reason I stuck around was for George Washington. 

Forget that I said any of that. I'm actually very excited to start the program, and can't wait to get on the Editorial Track. No really. Can't wait. I was born to be an editor.

Visit my blog ( to learn more about me, or send me a f. request on facebook or something. It would be suh-weet to make friends in the program, especially one to share the commute with.